Back To The Drawing Board For Tulsa's Downtown Arena
Friday, April 28th 2006, 8:30 AM CDT
Tulsa's downtown arena project appears to be over-budget or behind schedule, or both by the time it's done. Right now, it's estimated to be $32-million over budget and at least 4 months late in opening.
News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says the mayor announced the possible delay Friday afternoon, prompted by last week's revelation that the lowest bidders want $32-million more than what's budgeted to finish building it.
The high cost was presented as a complete surprise when those bids came in. But according to Mayor Kathy Taylor, internally it had been discussed for months, as early as November of last year, the architects predicted overruns of 20 to 30%.
The arena is well underway, but the work could stop in November when current contracts are done. The latest cost estimate, including the latest bids, is $155-million, but there's only $123-million in the budget.
The builder says every element of the architects design will be reviewed, Mayor Kathy Taylor says nothing is off the table. "Everything, I have said put things on the table that give the city options and let us know what the impact of those options are."
The review will take two weeks and the mayor says then she'll have the options before her to make an informed decision about what to do next.
The builder hopes to find ways to save money - and bring it back on budget - if that's possible, it would delay the opening. If those over budget bids are accepted - it could open on time - but at a higher cost.